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Growth and Heavy Metals Accumulation Potential of Microalgae Grown in Sewage Wastewater and Petrochemical Effluents

Author(s): K.V. Ajayan | M. Selvaraju | K. Thirugnanamoorthy

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
ISSN 1028-8880

Volume: 14;
Issue: 16;
Start page: 805;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: nutrients | petrochemical effluents | Sewage wastewater | microalgae | heavy metals

Microalgae exhibit a number of heavy metal uptake process by different metabolism. In this study, the ability of microalgae for removal of heavy metal from wastewater was studied. Growth and biochemical contents of microalgae were determined by spectrophotometer. Heavy metal analysis of wastewater effluents were performed by atomic absorption spectrophotometer before and after treatment at laboratory scale. The growth of Scenedesmus bijuga and Oscillatoria quadripunctulata in sewage wastewater was higher than those grown in synthetic medium. Whereas, the growth of S. bijuga and O. quadripunctulata in sterilized petrochemical effluents was slightly lower than that grown in the standard synthetic medium. The chlorophyll, carotenoid and protein content of S. bijuga and O. quadripunctulata grown in sterilized sewage wastewater were higher than those grown in the standard medium. Similarly S. bijuga and O. quadripunctulata grown in sterilized petrochemical effluents showed lower contents of pigments and protein than those grown in sewage and synthetic medium. Heavy metals copper, cobalt, lead and zinc were removed by 37-50, 20.3-33.3, 34.6-100 and 32.1-100%, respectively from sewage wastewater and petrochemical effluent using Ocillatoria culture. The metal absorption by S. bijuga were (Cu, Co, Pb, Zn) 60-50, 29.6-66, 15.4-25 and 42.9-50%, respectively from sewage and petrochemical effluents. Both species showed high level of heavy metal removal efficiency and metal sorption efficiency of both microalgae depended on the type of biosorbent, the physiological status of the cells, availability of heavy metal, concentration of heavy metal and chemical composition of wastewater.
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